NSW Promotes Partnership for Social Change
21 September 2016 at 11:13 am
Partnership is key to driving social change, according to the New South Wales Government which is “leading the nation” when it comes to social impact investment.
Treasurer of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian, who spoke at the Philanthropy Australia National Conference on Wednesday, said it was clear governments “shouldn’t go it alone” and called on non-government sectors to work together.
“As a government, we are also looking at what we need to do to face the challenges of the future,” Berejiklian said.
“Our State’s Intergenerational Report (part of this year’s budget process) highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges that NSW is likely to face in the next 40 years. Such as an ageing population, declining workforce participation, and a growing demand for services and infrastructure.
“There will be even greater pressure on the government to meet those needs… That is why the NSW Government is investing record amounts in key services including health, education, and family and community services.
“However, it is clear that any government can’t and shouldn’t go it alone.
“To really drive social change and help make important innovations and discoveries, we must partner with others – those who are experts in their own fields.
“There is much we can learn from the experience, talent and innovation in non-government sectors, including philanthropy.
“We are committed to partnering with those best placed to deliver the outcomes NSW needs, particularly in relation to those who are most vulnerable.”
Berejiklian used the example of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund to highlight how the state government was working with community and commercial sectors, to increase housing supply.
“The SAHF is the first of its kind in Australia,” she said.
“It is a dedicated fund that will be set up with $1.1 billion in seed capital from the NSW Government to deliver 3,000 additional social and affordable homes through phase one.
“The government has consulted widely with the community and others, including tenants, on how the system can be reformed to focus on better client outcomes and ensure sustainability.
“The SAHF model aims to facilitate innovation to support a sustainable social housing system, services focus to achieve outcomes, scalable design, and promote partnerships with private and non-government participants.
“The government is determined to facilitate innovative, value for money, service-driven outcomes that will help those people who need it most.”
Berejiklian highlighted that the state was also “leading the nation” in the area of social impact investment, and said it was an exciting model for the government as it shifted the focus of funding public services to achieving positive, measurable outcomes.
“By harnessing the innovation and capital of the non-government sectors, we can deliver better outcomes for the most vulnerable people in our communities,” she said.
“This is a big shift from how governments traditionally fund services – and we can be sure that taxpayers’ money is put towards programs that make a positive, meaningful difference to people’s lives.
“For government, social impact investing is especially exciting because it shifts the focus of funding public services to achieving positive, measurable outcomes.
“Social impact investing makes social and financial sense for philanthropy.”
In reference to the Social Impact Investment Policy, which the NSW Government launched last year, Berejiklian said a key action of the policy was to deliver more investments to the market.
“It aims to bring together the government and non-government sectors to achieve better outcomes for NSW communities,” she said.
“And it seeks to do this by growing the social impact investing market in NSW and Australia.”
She said to help “build a pipeline of social impact investments in NSW”, the government was preparing to call for more proposals in late 2016, to:
- improve outcomes through early childhood education
- increase permanency for children in care
- address youth unemployment.
“The policy has a strong focus on creating the conditions for the non-government sectors to collaborate and work with us to achieve meaningful social change,” she said.
One of the flagship initiatives is the Expert Advice Exchange (EAX), a platform which connects NGOs and social enterprises with pro bono advice and support from leading law firms, professional services firms and financial institutions.
Berejiklian said many of their corporate partners had “risen to the challenge”.
“In the last 18 months, EAX advisory firms have provided just over 1,900 hours in pro bono advice to 99 Not for Profit organisations,” she said.
“That’s an exceptional commitment from some our leading legal and commercial firms in NSW.
“And one that helps demonstrate the power and effectiveness of partnerships to work towards a common goal.”
Berejiklian said the government was “proud” of the leadership role they had taken in innovative ways to drive social change.
“We see ourselves as ‘enablers’ – making sure we do everything we can as a government to support social impact investment and philanthropic activity more broadly.”